Monday, June 24, 2019

Black Trousers Are Strictly for Johor Royalty

On June 05, 2019, Johor’s Crown Prince (right) had declared that only Johor royalty is worthy to wear a Baju Melayu Teluk Belanga with black pants. 

And he made a comparison between an eagle and a sparrow (“burung helang dan pipit”) flying at different heights, adding: “You better know your place and let those dreams be lower than the height of the grass”. 

When he received an avalanche of negative responses on social media – Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim merely said he was conveying his grandfather’s advice. 

Bersatu’s Khairuddin Abu Hassan (left) advised Tunku Ismail to perform the haj “to learn a thing or two about humility” (New Straits Times, June 08, 2019).

“What would he wear then? Just a piece of white cloth (ihram) to cover his body like any other Muslim, the poor and the marhaen (commoner) people like the rest of us. In Islam, there is no class system, just people. We are all the same in the eyes of Allah”. 

Former ambassador and G25 spokesperson Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin (right) said “Malaysians are getting tired of the Tunku Mahkota’s antics. 

And she added: “We expect members of the royalty to conduct themselves with dignity as befitting their position”. 

In any case, the Tunku Mahkota is the kind of guy who brooked no nonsense – Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister and Pulai MP Salahuddin Ayub was rapped by the Johor palace for wearing baju Melayu with black trousers. 

Salahuddin, a Johor native had been photographed (below pic) wearing the said attire during a Hari Raya Aidilfitri event, alongside Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad.

Salahuddin Ayub (in baju Melayu and black pants, third from left) speaking to (from left) Anwar Ibrahim, Mahathir Mohamad and Khalid Abdul Samad on June 05, 2019. Instagram photo 

According to Malaysiakini, he had received a letter dated June 09 from the Johor Council of the Royal Court over his dressing, together with a copy of the state's garment regulations. 

In case anybody is interested to know, the baju Teluk Belanga style was designed by Sultan Abu Bakar to commemorate the shift of the administrative capital of the Johor empire in 1866 from Teluk Belanga in Singapore to Tanjung Puteri, which is the present Johor Baru. 

The attire is styled with a slim-edge round neck with a front slit held by a single button, usually worn with a semi-precious or precious stone. 

And black for trousers being made exclusive to Johor royalty is interesting. Normally, the colors associated with royalty are red, yellow and/or purple.


But black? Well, I suppose black denotes authority; it is considered a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color. 

Maybe, Johor should come out with a proclamation that no male should use black pants; it is a color reserved for their royalty. Then, nobody can say they don’t know.

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